by Dr. D.B. Tonks, which appeared in the Commemorative Issue, 40 years • 1956-96 of CSCC News 1996; 2.
The impetus for the founding of the Canadian Society of Clinical Chemists (CSCC) came from Montreal, from the late Dr. W.S. Bauld and the late Dr. E.H. Bensley of the Montreal General Hospital, and from Dr. A.H. Neufeld of the Queen Mary Veterans Hospital. They were all senior laboratory staff leaders, well-known in Canada and outside of this country. In the summer of 1956, these three medical scientists planned an organizational meeting of persons interestedd in clinical chemistry or medical biochemistry for October 17 of the same year. They asked me (DBT) to participate by giving a lecture on the work that I and my staff of three had been doing since 1951 in the Clinical Laboratories of the Laboratory of Hygiene in Ottawa. (Our division was directed by Dr. R.H. Allen, which chief was Mr. J. Gibbard. Both are important to this story for their strong support, but will not be mentioned again). We had established a Federal clinical chemistry laboratory at the Ottawa Civic Hospital at the request of Dr. M. Klotz, Chief Pathologist, and were carrying out proficiency testing programs in Canada in clinical chemistry, studying clinical chemistry methods comprehensively, and producing a loose-leaf manual of approved clinical chemistry methods. I was also doing research in serology. A discussion of these studies seemed to be appropriate for the purpose of the founding meeting in Montreal on October 17, 1956.
The new Montreal General Hospital had been opened in 1955, replacing the previous one. On October 17, 1956, the laboratories had only recently been established and were beautifully and colorfully painted. Our meeting was, I believe, held at night in the now-named Osler Amphitheatre. Invitations had been sent out, and a good audience of 37 scientists attended with great interest. The principal organizer was, I believe, the late Dr. Bill Bauld, a Canadian who had been trained in Scotland. (Unfortunately he and his wife and two of his four children were killed in an automobile accident in the Maritimes in 1958). The need and desire to form a society for clinical chemistry only, was strong, and an organizational committee was set up to create a national Society, and to plan a first Annual Meeting in Ottawa in the fall of 1957. I was named as Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee for this meeting, and Drs. Bauld, Bensley and Neufeld were charged with arranging the scientific program and the business part of this important Ottawa meeting.
More could be said about the Montreal meeting, but one can refer to an article by Dr. Bensley in our CSCC News of February 1984 ("Twenty-five Years - A Retrospection"). It is important to note, however, that other societies were being formed at about the same time (Canadian Biochemical Society, Canadian Federation of Biological Societies, Canadian Nutrition Society). We had the moral support of the British and American Associations of Clinical Chemists/Medical Biochemists, and of the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry. Several of us had attended their meetings previously. I had become a member of AACC in 1953, and had visited Dr. Sobel's labratory in Brooklyn in 1952 and 1953; he was one of the founders of AACC.
Much insight on the need for a Canadian society (to form Q.C. programs, standardize methods and assess instruments) was detailed at the International Congress of Clinical Chemistry in New York City, September 9-14, 1956. Several of us attended the Congress, along with Prof. N.F. MacLagan, Dr. C.P. Stewart, and Prof. E.J. King of Great Britain, who just previously had visited Montreal.
The Committee formed at the Montreal meeting to plan the rapid organization of a Canadian Society of Clinical Chemists consisted of Dr. E.H. Bensley (Montreal), Chairman. Dr. S.H. Jackson (Toronto), Dr. Jules Labarre (Montreal), Dr. D.B. Tonks (Ottawa), Dr. F.D. White (Winnipeg), Dr. A.L. Stewart (Edmonton), and Dr. W.S. Bauld (Montreal), Secretary. Questionnaires were sent out to determine the views of others. It was agreed that we should proceed, and the first national meeting, referred to above, was planned for the fall of 1957 in Ottawa.
This first National Meeting was held in the Medical Building of the University of Ottawa. It was a great success. The business meeting followed (34 attended) with Dr. Bensley as Chairman and Dr. Bauld as Secretary. The previously selected Committee was approved for proceeding with the formation of a Canadian Society of Clinical Chemists, which was the name proposed by Drs. White and Neufeld, and accepted after much discussion. The qualifications for membership were fully discussed; finally, Dr. Guy Nadeau, seconded by Dr. Bauld, moved that "any person actively engaged in the practice or teaching of clinical chemistry (or clinical biochemistry) may be eligible to become a member in the first year," and that a committee be set up to rule upon applications received. The following offices and officers were approved: President, Dr. E.H. Bensley; Vice President, Dr. S.H. Jackson; Secretary, Dr. W.S. Bauld; Treasurer, Dr. Guy Nadeau; and Committee Members of Council, Dr. M.C. Blanchaer (Winnipeg) and Dr. R.H. Pearce (London ON). Three sub-committees were established with designated Chairmen - Instrumentation, Dr. S.H. Jackson; Quality Control, Dr. D.B. Tonks; Methods, Dr. F. Moya of Halifax. A membership was to be decided upon by Council.
The Society was on its way. The second Annual Meeting was held at Queen's University in Kingston on June 12-13, 1958, with Dr. Bensley as President and Dr. J.M.R. Beveridge as Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee.
The third Annual Meeting was held at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto on June 12, 1959, when Dr. S.H. Jackson was elected President, and I was confirmed at Secretary, a position I had taken on after Dr. Bauld's death.